Homework and study habits

Certain key practices will make life easier for everyone in the family when it comes to study time and study organisation. However, some of them may require an adjustment for other members of the family.

1. Turn off the TV set. Make a house rule, depending on the location of the set, that when it is study time, it is “no TV” time. A television set that is on will draw youngsters like bees to honey.

2. What about the radio or other audio devices? Should it be on or off? Contrary to what many specialists say, some youngsters do seem to function all right with the radio turned on to a favourite music station. (Depending on the layout of your house or apartment, maybe an investment in earphones would be worthy of consideration.)

3. Designate specific areas for homework and studying. Possibilities include the child’s room or the kitchen or dining room table. Eliminate as much distraction as possible. Since many young people will study in their own rooms, function becomes more important than beauty. Most desks for young people really don’t have sufficient space to spread out materials. A table that allows for all necessary supplies such as pencils, pens, paper, books, and other essentials works extremely well. Consider a bulletin board in the child’s room.

4. Regularity is a key factor in academic success. If the student doesn’t have other commitments and gets home reasonably early from school, some homework can be done before supper.

5. While high school students can focus for over an hour, first-graders are unlikely to last more than 15 minutes on a single task. Take breaks, perhaps as a reward for finishing a section of the work.